NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Dozens of Yorkshire Apartments tenants are still living in the condemned building without water for the past three weeks and have nowhere to go as their landlord, Ronald Baudilio Perez, is still yet to be found.
Mark Frazon, who lives at the apartment building on 9th street, tells 7 News reporter Yoselin Person when the city officials condemned the building, the landlord still sent someone named Christopher Natal to collect the rent.
"When the guy came to collect the rent, it was on the first, and the water had already been shut off on us and I told them I would not pay until Ronald got back to me on it," Frazon says. "And it has been total radio silence since, and I even got the text of it."
7 News reporter Yoselin Person called Christopher Natal, and he picked up the phone.
She asked him why the landlord, Ronald Baudilio Perez, collected the tenant's money while the building was condemned.
Christopher Natal hangs up the phone.
Ronald Baudilio Perez also didn't answer his phone.
The mayor of Niagara Falls, Robert Restaino, announced a home improvement program coming from the New York State Attorney General's Cities Rise Grant to help pay for home improvements.
But the mayor says this program doesn't apply to the tenants living in Yorkshire.
"Unfortunately, the landlord neglected their responsibility to their tenants and neglected their neighborhood," Mayor Robert Restaino says. "That's the reason why we condemned the building."
But how and what can the city do to help these distressed tenants?
"I say to the residents to start with the department of social services. If you end up not eligible they have referrals that they can make."
Yorkshire tenant Mark Frazon thinks it's not as easy as many think.
"My son is special needs and I have pre-existing health problems. Everyone got waiting lists and social services can’t help me because I make too much being on disability," Frazon says. What else can we do now? That's the major question what else can we do when we are being screwed over."
Others say they're just coming up with their own solutions.
Tenants also say the landlord won't give back their security deposits.
"Might as well say I'm homeless. There's no water, there's no nothing," says Gary Zimmerman, a tenant living at Yorkshire Apartments. "I have to go to McDonald's to bathe or whatever I can go. It's ridiculous."